Jonathan Darlington Conducts Highly Acclaimed World Premiere of Detlav Glanert’s New Opera “Die Judin Von Toledo” at the Dresden Semperoper

14 Feb 2024

“A standing ovation for a work that is as exciting as it is oppressive” (BR Klassik).

On the 10th February Jonathan Darlington the world premiere of Detlav Glanert’s new opera Die Judin von Toledo, commissioned by the Dresden Semperoper and staged by Robert Carsen. Further performances will take place on the 15th, 18th and 26th February, and the 1st and 8th March.

In the five-act opera, a tale of forbidden love between the Spanish King Alfonso VIII and his Jewish mistress Rahel will be explored – a drama of private passion and public duty. Based on the historical tragedy play by Franz Grillparzer, Glanert has combined late Romantic sounds with traditions of the 20th century to create a singular and highly differentiated tonal language.

The premiere received high praise from the audience and acclaim from critics:

“Musically and dramatically, the Saxon State Opera Chorus is outstanding in all phases.

The musical direction of Jonathan Darlington, who is well established in the house, proves to be grandiose in the realisation of the score. What Darlington and the musicians of the Staatskapelle achieve on this evening is impressive. The musicians of the Staatskapelle master the demanding score with their usual precision and sonority.

Darlington succeeds in fine-tuning the tempo, which is exciting at every moment, allowing the orchestra to blaze, but always ensuring considerate dynamics and attentive accuracy in the chorus and not overtaxing the soloists.

Particularly in the interludes, Darlington drives the musicians through the score, but without neglecting virtuosity and differentiated interpretation. He can give you goosebumps, especially in the quieter moments.” – Thomas Thielemann, Der Opernfreund

“Jonathan Darlington colours with freshness on the conductor’s podium, drives forward rhythmically and lets it flare up opulently and passionately. Grand opera for a grand theatre!” – Manuel Brug, Welt

“The opulent sound magic that conductor Jonathan Darlington allows to emerge from the pit with its very own, almost beguiling coloring is simply breathtaking. From the fascinating interludes to the passages perfectly interwoven with the vocal parts. This is opera that doesn’t aim for dogmatic innovation at any price, but rather confidently appropriates the inherited apparatus and wants to reach the audience, even grab them emotionally.” – Joachim Lange, Neue Musikzeitung

“The Staatskapelle Dresden under Jonathan Darlington is at the top of its class.” –  Friedeon Rosén, Online Merker

“Jonathan Darlington draws a dizzying spectrum of colour and nuance from a Staatskapelle Dresden on top form. This is an impressive performance of a dazzling score.” – Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times

“The orchestral interludes alone are of the finest quality. Someone really knows what to do with the orchestral heritaget. Especially when the Sächsische Staatskapelle under the direction of Jonathan Darlington is in such top form as on this evening!” – Roberto Becker, Die Deutsche Bühne

“The Sächsische Staatskapelle and the excellent Staatsopernchor give a powerful performance, the British conductor Jonathan Darlington has coordinated the eccentricity of the music magnificently – also and especially in the captivatingly flourishing interludes!” – Michael Ernst, MDR Klassik

“Jonathan Darlington conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden with delicate balance and elegant phrasing” – Jan Brachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine

Photo Credit: Andreas Koehring